Evidence required to support a claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act varies based on the way that the Act was violated by the debt collector. Depending on the type of violations committed by the collector, you may need written evidence, audio recordings, or testimony of witnesses.
If you received communication from a debt collector that may violate the FDCPA you will of course want to save it as evidence to support your claim. Other documentation that was not sent to you may be proof of a violation as well. Written evidence that the Act was violated may include:
- A published list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay a debt
- An advertisement that the debt you owe is for sale
- A letter that threatens to take any action against you
- Any communication falsely made to look like it was approved or issued by a Court or government agency
- Postcards from the debt collector
- A letter that indicates that not paying a debt is a crime or falsely represents that you may be arrested
- Any letter that appears to be from an attorney, but is not
It is a good idea to save all communication you receive from a debt collector until your attorney can review it and determine if it violates the FDCPA and should be kept as evidence.
Voicemails and messages left on your answering machine can be good evidence of a FDCPA violation and should be saved for your attorney to review. You may need to transfer the audio to a flash drive, CD, or other media that can be sent to the debt collector's attorney or played in court, if you have to have a hearing. You can also record conversations that you have with the debt collector if you know how to do this. If a collector is harassing you, it might be a good idea to find out how to record your conversations and begin doing so.
Even if you have not recorded any of your conversations with the debt collector and do not have recordings of messages that they have left, you might be able to obtain the collector's recordings of your calls with them if you keep a log of the times and dates of the calls. An experienced attorney can help you do this.
Most FDCPA claims do not involve witness testimony, but if your claim involves the debt collector communicating with a third party about your debt, you might need that third party to testify about those communications.
If a debt collector or creditor is harassing or abusing you, or of you have filed a lawsuit against one and think you may need the help of an attorney, please contact our office at 1-800-219-3577, for a free, no obligation consultation.